Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a research study conducted on humans, which is designed to answer specific questions about new ways of using known treatments or improving currently successful treatments. Clinical trials, also called medical research and research studies, are carefully conducted to determine whether new materials or treatments are both safe and effective. All Clinical trials are based on study plans called protocols. The plans are designed to safeguard the health of the participants as well as answer specific research questions. During the course of the clinical trial, participants are seen regularly by the research staff to monitor their progression and to ensure the safety and effectiveness of their treatment.

Becoming a Patient

Each clinical trial has inclusion and exclusion criteria and many clinical trials require patient participation. Patient recruitment is conducted through newspaper ads, web announcements, and word-of-mouth. Calling the clinical research coordinator is perhaps the easiest way to determine what studies are accepting patients.

The First Appointment

The first appointment is a screening that may last from 30 minutes to an hour. At the appointment, a patient will be asked to complete a medical history form and sign a consent form that describes the procedure that will be done, the cost (if any), as well as the risks and benefits of the particular study. If a patient is accepted into a study, they will be given an appointment for treatment. Once the treatment is complete, recall appointments begin. Each study varies in the frequency as well as the number of recalls. A recall appointment consists of taking a photo of the work that was done and an evaluation by an Investigator in the study. Each recall appointment takes about 45 minutes.

Payment Options

Every study is different; many are free and even pay a stipend for returning for the recall evaluations. Some however charge for the service, and though we try to keep the costs low; there are times when the research participant must pay for the services. In those cases, the School of Dentistry accepts payment in form of cash, check, MasterCard, and Visa.
Private dental insurance is not accepted in lieu of payment; however, the treating dentist will complete claim forms for your insurance company for the reimbursement of out of pocket expenses.

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

The patient has the right to know exactly what is being done during the clinical trial. Participation in a study is voluntary; refusal to participate will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. A patient may also choose to discontinue participation in any clinical study at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.


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Last Update 6/2009